I am just going to come right out and say it because I can't hold it in any longer...
The secret to nonprofit success is...
(drum roll, please...)
Yup! The secret to nonprofit success is when nonprofits brainstorm together, share resources with one another, educate each other, support one another, and stay interested in each other's causes.
Some of you are you saying right now, "Todd, we don't have the time to collaborate with other nonprofit organizations!"
And I am telling you that you don't have the time to NOT collaborate with other nonprofit organizations!
Now is the time to gather together and be there for each other! (Do you see me waving a nonprofit flag in the air, right now? I am that passionate about this!)
Look, the nonprofit world is about community not competition. There is so much good to be done in this world and if we are ever going to get it done... we will need to get it done together.
I am soooo glad you asked:
3 NO-BRAINER WAYS TO START COLLABORATING WITH OTHER NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
1. ATTEND CONFERENCES.
We live in a wonderful time where there are a lot of wonderful nonprofit conferences that you can attend! They are not as boring as they used to be! Hooray! Aaaaaaaaand the money and time is most certainly worth the friendships that are made and the resources gained. Conferences are a fabulous way to collaborate with other nonprofits. Now, I would like to add that attending a nonprofit conference is not going automatically help you find your next nonprofit bestie. In addition to attending the conference, you have to also engage with other nonprofits... ask them questions... listen to their stories... and be willing share your own.
2. MAKE FRIENDS WITH LOCAL NONPROFITS.
The other nonprofits in your local community are not your enemies. Should I say that again?
The other nonprofits in your local community are NOT your enemies.
They are not even your competition. They are a valuable resource they you have the opportunity to draw from and pour into. So make nice. Invite their C-Suites to a luncheon where you can all get to know each other better. Begin to cultivate a local nonprofit squad that is determined to have each other's back. Get matching tattoos if you think that will help.
3. HOST REGULAR COLLABORATION SESSIONS WITH YOUR NONPROFIT SQUAD.
Take up the mantle of being the nonprofit squad leader and start to host collaboration sessions. Gather your nonprofit friends together and ask, "How can we help each other?" Some other great questions to ask that will get a helpful conversation going are:
- What are similar problems that we are all facing?
- What are new systems, programs, and services that are working that we can either recommend or share?
- What unique skill sets can we share as leaders?
- What are some wins we can celebrate with and for each other?
Collaboration is magic. Collaboration promotes creativity... which supports sustainability... which cultivates community. So, get on the collaborative band wagon and start making friends! There is plenty of good out there to get done! Let's do it together.
Waving the Nonprofit flag proudly,